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When Newsweek Was Respected for Its Race Coverage

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October 19, 2012

Four alumni reflect on demise of print edition; black, Spanish networks didn't broadcast debate; NAHJ votes to join SPJ-RTDNA convention; AP clarifies: "Illegal Immigrant" is not the only term; Taliban threaten media over coverage of teen; Puerto Rico enthralled by cheeky newscast puppet; Washington City Paper to call NFL team "Pigskins" (10/19/12)

Four Alumni Reflect on Demise of Print Edition

Black, Spanish Networks Didn't Broadcast Debate

NAHJ Votes to Join SPJ-RTDNA Convention

AP Clarifies: "Illegal Immigrant" Is Not the Only Term

Taliban Threaten Media Over Coverage of Teen

Puerto Rico Enthralled by Cheeky Newscast Puppet

Washington City Paper to Call NFL Team "Pigskins"

Black, Spanish Networks Didn't Broadcast Debate

The Spanish-language networks declined to broadcast live Tuesday's presidential debate, but Univision and CNN en Español say they will do so for Monday's matchup on foreign policy issues. NBC-owned Telemundo, which aired a novela during Tuesday's debate, did not respond to a request for comment.

Black-oriented networks BET and TV One also did not broadcast Tuesday's debate live — BET streamed the event on its website — and say they will follow the same course on Monday.

On Tuesday, Univision aired 2014 World Cup-qualifying soccer matches, Mexico vs. El Salvador on Univision and U.S. vs. Guatemala on TeleFutura.

"We will be airing the Monday debate live," Univision spokeswoman Monica Talan told Journal-isms by email. "For the past debate, we streamed it live, hosted social engagement elements (including Google+) and aired it at midnight."

A news release added, "Prior to the candidates' face-off, Univision News will present a Spanish-language pre-debate show available live on YouTube Elections Hub and Google+ Hangout, with Noticiero Univision correspondent Lourdes del Rio LIVE from Boca Raton, debate specialist Javier Maza and political analysts Helen Aguirre (Republican) and Fabian Núñez (Democrat). The discussion will be moderated by Enrique Acevedo, co-anchor of Univision's late evening newscast, 'Noticiero Univision Edición Nocturna.' Political reporter Luis Mejid and KMEX Univision 34 news anchor Leon Krauze will participate in the Google+ Hangout.

"Immediately following the 90-minute broadcast, Noticiero Univision anchor Jorge Ramos will host a special half hour live post-debate program featuring del Rio, Maza, and both Aguirre and Núñez, who will discuss the candidates' performance and what voters can expect during the last phase of the presidential campaign. In addition, Univision News political reporter Jordan Fabian will present post-debate reaction and highlights after the special."

Isabel Bucaram, a spokeswoman for CNN en Español, confirmed that her network aired Major League Baseball while its sister CNN networks aired the debate. Bucaram said by email that "Audiences watching the U.S. feed of CNN en Español got updates and News Briefs on the debate throughout the MLB game. They were also directed to www.cnnespanol.com to give them the opportunity to watch the entire debate online (for free) while the game was on CNN en Español's U.S. feed. Our viewers were able to interact with CNN en Español through the web, Twitter, Facebook and iReports."

Luis Defrank, a spokesman for BET, said by email, "We live streamed the debate on BET.com/Vote2012 as well as published posts that featured debate commentary from a Democrat and Republican. We posted a walk-up to the debate on the issues discussed, a picture gallery on [Twitter] and a gallery on the top meme — Women in Binders — that emerged from the debate. Lastly we posted a video debrief of the debate. All of these elements live on our BET.com/Vote2012. We are planning the same type of coverage on Monday."

Candace Johnson, a spokeswoman for TV One said by email, ". . . no we are not doing coverage of the debates, however the release announcing the TV One election coverage will be coming out in the near future."

NAHJ Votes to Join SPJ-RTDNA Convention

The board of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists voted unanimously Friday to hold its 2013 convention in Anaheim, Calif., joining the Radio Television Digital News Association and the Society of Professional Journalists there.

RTDNA and SPJ must approve NAHJ's participation, but Sonny Albarado of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the SPJ president, told Journal-isms by telephone that he supported the move. However, he said, "We have not discussed it as a board."

Albarado said the two joint RTDNA-SPJ conventions in 2011 and 2012 had drawn an average of 1,100 or 1,200 people. Hugo Balta, NAHJ president, said by telephone, "we're looking at attracting better than 500" NAHJ members.

Bonnie GonzalezKevin Benz, past RTDNA chairman, association secretary and chair of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation, told Journal-isms by email on Saturday, "I personally believe both organizations will indeed approve, but we need to have a thorough discussion and make sure the plan is mutually beneficial.

". . . I can say this... With the combined strength of SPJ and RTDNA, it has been our intention to create the most important journalism discussion in the country. The Excellence in Journalism convention does just that. The addition of NAHJ, if approved, can only enhance that discussion and strengthen our convention. As RTDNF chair, I am advocating for it."

Balta said that at the NAHJ gala at the Unity convention in August, he and Benz discussed the idea of NAHJ joining the other two groups.

NAHJ is the last of the journalist of color associations to choose its convention site for 2013. At its last independent convention, in Orlando in 2011, Russell Contreras, then the chief financial officer, declared, "This convention here is our last stand-alone convention." He cited the cost savings in holding joint meetings with other groups. At its board meeting this month, Unity Journalists, the coalition of NAHJ, the Asian American Journalists Association, the Native American Journalists Association and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, decided to establish a task force to examine the feasibility of holding Unity conventions every two years, rather than every four.

The National Association of Black Journalists is holding its 2013 convention in Orlando, AAJA plans to be in New York, NAJA has chosen Phoenix and NLGJA will be in Boston.

The NAHJ board, which conducted a conference call, also considered partnering with CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California in Los Angeles, having a stand-alone meeting in Albuquerque, N.M., and having no convention.

The board voted to add Bonnie Gonzalez, a reporter for the Time Warner Cable station in Austin, Texas, which brands itself as Your News Now. Gonzalez will fill the vacant seat representing Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. [Updated Oct. 20]

AP Clarifies: "Illegal Immigrant" Is Not the Only Term

Tom Kent"The first thing to note is that 'illegal immigrant' is not the only term we use, Tom Kent, AP's deputy managing editor for standards and production, wrote Friday in "Close to the News," a staff newsletter. "The Stylebook entry on this subject was modified a year ago to make clear that other wording is always acceptable, including 'living in the country without legal permission.'

"In fact, there are cases where 'illegal immigrant' doesn't work at all. For instance, if a young man was brought into the country by parents who entered illegally, he didn't consciously commit any act of 'immigration' himself. It's best to describe such a person as living in the country without legal permission, and then explain his story.

"There are also cases where a person's right to be in the country is currently in legal dispute; in such a case, we can't yet say the person is here illegally.

"But what about the cases where we do write 'illegal immigrants'? Why not say 'undocumented immigrants' or 'unauthorized immigrants,' as some advocates would have it?

"To us, these terms obscure the essential fact that such people are here in violation of the law. It's simply a legal reality.

"Terms like 'undocumented' and 'unauthorized' can make a person's illegal presence in the country appear to be a matter of minor paperwork. Many illegal immigrants aren't 'undocumented' at all; they may have a birth certificate and passport from their home country, plus a U.S. driver's license, Social Security card or school ID. What they lack is the fundamental right to be in the United States.

"Without that right, their presence is illegal. Some say the word is inaccurate, because depending on the situation, they may be violating only civil, not criminal law. But both are laws, and violating any law is an illegal act (we do not say 'criminal immigrant').

"Finally, there's the concern that 'illegal immigrant' offends a person's dignity by suggesting his very existence is illegal. We don't read the term this way. We refer routinely to illegal loggers, illegal miners, illegal vendors and so forth. Our language simply means that a person is logging, mining, selling, etc., in violation of the law — just as illegal immigrants have immigrated in violation of the law. (Precisely to respect the dignity of people in this situation, the Stylebook warns against such terms as 'illegal alien,' 'an illegal' or 'illegals.'). . ."

ColorLines, a social advocacy magazine, last year launched a 'Drop the I-Word' campaign, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists has long urged media outlets to refrain from the use of "illegals" and "illegal immigrants" in favor of "undocumented."

Malala Yousafzai (Credit: The New Yorker)

Taliban Threaten Media Over Coverage of Teen

"Journalists, like many others in Pakistan, have spoken out strongly since the Taliban attempted to kill the teenage Malala Yousafzai on October 9," Sumit Galhotra and Bob Dietz wrote Wednesday for the Committee to Protect Journalists.

"The Taliban, in return, are threatening the media over their coverage, according to journalists and news reports. " 'Media houses, tv anchors and some well-known journalists are under serious threat,' one of our colleagues messaged. 'I understand that some intelligence reports had also intercepted telephone calls to them. The threats are coming in Swat, Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi. The situation got [worse] after media coverage of Malala Yousafzai's case which made the extremists quite angry.' . . . "

Yousafzai has been able to stand for the first time since the attack and is communicating by writing, a British hospital official said Friday, Henry Chu reported for the Los Angeles Times. Malala was flown to Birmingham, England, from Pakistan this week for specialized treatment.

The La Comay puppet character is played by comedian Antulio “Kobbo” Santarrosa. “She has achieved the credibility that escapes so many in the so-called formal news business,” Sandra D. Rodriguez wrote in a recent column for the newspaper El Vocero. “We have to ask ourselves, what does La Comay have that the press corps has failed to do?” (Video )

Puerto Rico Enthralled by Cheeky Newscast Puppet

"No one is safe from the crosshairs of La Comay," Danica Coto wrote Friday from San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the Associated Press.

"This five-foot-tall character with a foam head painted with outrageous red lips, a shrill voice and a penchant for salacious details rules Puerto Rico's gossip circuit, with legions tuning into her show every afternoon ready for the latest bombshell. La Comay dishes it out with ominous music playing in the background, talking about everyone from Mexican crooner Luis Miguel to Puerto Rico's own Miss Universe beauty queen Zuleyka Rivera.

". . . The program has been derided for being over-the-top sensationalist and for broadcasting derogatory comments against women and gays, but 'Super Xclusivo' remains the main news source for thousands in the U.S. territory and hundreds of Puerto Ricans in Florida and New York. The island comes to a stop every afternoon to watch La Comay not only talk small-town gossip but also expose government and business corruption scandals. . . ."

Washington City Paper to Call NFL Team "Pigskins"

"Meet your new football team, D.C.: the Washington Pigskins," Mike Madden wrote Thursday for the Washington City Paper, an alternative weekly. "That's the name Washington City Paper will use from now on to refer to the folks in burgundy and gold who play at FedEx Field, instead of the name the team prefers, which is a pejorative term for Native Americans.

"Over the last week, 1,125 of you voted on which of five names we should go with, and Pigskins — a.k.a. Hogs, in a tribute to the team's great offensive line of the first Joe Gibbs era — stiff-armed the competition like John Riggins did to Don McNeal in Super Bowl XVII. The name won 50 percent of the vote. Washington Monuments came in a distant second, with 16 percent; Washington Bammas got 13 percent, Washington Half-Smokes, 11 percent, and Washington Washingtons 10 percent. . . . "

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